Archdiocese Omits Key Info In Inquirer Ad


The Archdiocese took out an ad in today’s Inquirer. It can be found on page 15. It shares where their resources are going  – with a few key omissions. Contributing Catholics should demand a comprehensive annual financial report rather than a misleading ad. While much money is spent on extremely important causes, funds are also used to pay priests who have been removed from ministry and to cover archdiocesan legal and public relations fees. Does it also go to house some of our Bishops in their own large expensive homes (one in particular on Rittenhouse Square) while half empty rectories abound? Spin isn’t going to save our Church. Action will.

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60 Responses to “Archdiocese Omits Key Info In Inquirer Ad”

  1. So many people emailed me the Gospel readings from last Sunday. If I were a wealthy person I would take out a full page ad in the Inquirer and it would simply be this

    Gospel Mt 23:1-12

    Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
    “The scribes and the Pharisees
    have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
    Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
    but do not follow their example.
    For they preach but they do not practice.
    They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
    and lay them on people’s shoulders,
    but they will not lift a finger to move them.
    All their works are performed to be seen.
    They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
    They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
    greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
    As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
    You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
    Call no one on earth your father;
    you have but one Father in heaven.
    Do not be called ‘Master’;
    you have but one master, the Christ.
    The greatest among you must be your servant.
    Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
    but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

  2. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply November 6, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Kathy, I still have been unable to uncover the following information:

    Who is the Chairman of the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

    Personnel down at 222 feign ignorance but they have told me that the information is available in the Archdiocesan Directory (through the Standard and Times Office). Is this accurate?

  3. Speaking of big houses on Rittenhouse Square, how is it that the Archbishop on one hand makes a big show of the “OFM Capuchin” after his name, but violates the Rule of his own
    order by his failure to take up residence with his fellow Franciscan Capuchins a few blocks
    away? So much for the vow of poverty. And how is it that he eschews Franciscan clerical garb but instead dresses as a diocesean priest?

    • While rumors abound in Philadelphia and it is hard to seperate fact from fiction, I have heard that Archbishop Chaput has not moved into the Cardinal’s mansion that Krol,Bevilaqua and Rigali have occupied, but rather has taken up residence at St Charles Seminary. Don’t know if that is true or not.

      • Kathy, that is to close to Bevilacqua. Chapoo is busy giving Bevilacqua a standing ovation and conforting him and telling him he has the best lawyers, so don’t worry we have your back! Something is in the works here, mark my words.

      • Vicky I totally forgot that Bevilaqua also resides there. I was actually thinking it was a positive sign -maybe a signal that the very valuable piece of real estate that is the Cardinal’s mansion would be sold But like I said who knows if any of it is even true.

    • Charles Newman OFM, Archbishop Chaput OFM ? are they both OFM Capuchin. really need to know the difference between a religious priest and an AD priest Makes a big difference when the AD reports and the chain of command. Especially with Lynn, Avery is an ex-priest – was under Avery, Engelhardt a religious priest who was sent to St Jerome’s for weekly mass – probably didn’t live at the rectory and Shero was probably hired by the local pastor – Lynn had little to do with that ( I had to look at the weekly mass schedule to see if and what parish I was assigned to when I was a religious). Archdiocese keeps the local schools under local control for many reasons. Richard Sipe had a great video posted about the chain of command in religious life and the problem with an Abbott in his old order on this website superior – provincial – superior general – Rome in a congregation which is different than religious order like OFM.

      Judge Rules that Accused Priest Can’t Question Former Altar Boy – article does give some insight to the difficulties in this case. Don’t have answers to these, but hopefully someone can enlighten us. I can’t remember what actually happens when a religious becomes a bishop and their religious connection.

      • Ed,

        The OFM Caps split from the OFMs centuries ago.

        Religious priests report to their own order, but in the case of Englehart (and a few others) he was working for the Archdiocese as a Parochial Vicar, and not in any of the Oblate organizations.

        Generally, ordered priests live in communities with each other, but sometimes individuals live outside the order or hold outside jobs and send money back to the community to help.

      • Thanks Jorge, Englehardt was teaching at the same school as I in the mid-90’s(sub while working at Treasury Dept), but didn’t know his assignment at the time of the abuse. Know the TOR are the ones who practise a rigid form of poverty. For me this is a shock, Knew Charles and a few of the abusers.
        ?http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Engelhardt_Charles_F_osfs.htm

        Confused me. Judge and Jeromes at the same time.

        Can’t get into the other aspects – Treasury Department employee on disability and Hatch Act prevents me.

  4. Thanks, Susan, for your clear and forceful challenge to Charles Chaput’s shell game spin with Philly Catholics’ cash donations. The one US bishop (an abuse victim himself) who has been sincere here, including supporting PA Catholics’ efforts to liberalize the SOL, has been Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit. His prophetic witness should give us all a glimmer of hope. He has been treated very badly by the Roman puppet masters and their US puppet bishops.

    For more on this, I encourage C4C readers to read the comment and cross links thereto under the comment heading, “LAW Si; GUMBLETON No !”, accessible at

    http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/vatican-moved-quickly-punish-gumbleton .

    Included in the cross links is a link to a short recent article by Richard Sipe. The article is the best overall analysis of the abuse crisis I have yet see. I highly recommend it to all.

    • Richard Sipe is an ex-Benedictine and has for over 40 years been one of the foremost clinicians treating abuse victims, as well as treating abuser priests and bishops. He was favorably greeted on a visit to Rome by John Paul II for his clinical work and writings, including his outstanding book with Tom Doyle, with whom he often works closely . The direct link to Richard Sipe’s excellent recent article, “Mother Church and the Rape of the Children” is accessible by clicking on at:

      http://www.richardsipe.com/Miscl/2011-10-/15-mother_church.htm .

      • Opps. the correct link is:

        http://www.richardsipe.com/Miscl/2011-10-15-mother_church.htm

        If the link fails, please go directly to his site, http://www.richardsipe.com and click directly on the article which is on the first page. Perhaps Susan and Kathy might consider adding this classic article to their resource page.

        Separately, let us hope that today’s horrific revelations relating to allegations of massive child abuse by a former Penn State football coach and the related cover up by other senior officials at Penn State will help move the PA legislators to take decisive action on the proposed SOL liberalization that C4C so effectively advocates for.

      • I went directly to http://www.richardsipe.com and read “Mother Church and the Rape of the Children”.

        It’s a MUST READ. I implore all clergy to read it as well.

    • Jerry, read the NCR article a few days ago, Gumbleton was very big in the Peace Movement too, and none too popular for that either!

      The questions about diocesan finance and that Inquirer ad (which I’d like a link) bring to mind Jason Berrys, Render Unto Rome…..

      It’s a sort of ‘dream on’ situation to get honest and thorough accounting from the Church…..Berrys book is hugely documented on the subject.

      I’d like to know who designed and funded that ad, however misleading it may be.

      And, I am going to hear Berry, we’d eve, and one of the questions I plan to ask relates to the IRS and Church liability.

  5. That’s the way to go!!! Kathy and Susan, keep them honest. Great comments about the lack of financial transparency. Hypocracy in high religious positions is as old as Jesus. When will they ever learn. I’m starting to believe the answer is NEVER. How sad for the good People of God.

  6. I just viewed the advertisement which fails to provide information on how much money the archdiocese of phila receives from the Federal Govt for the catholic charities, also I did not view any information on where the money comes from that pays for the catholic conference of bishops lobbying group in Harrisburg Pa, does it come from the faithful and once it goes to to lobbying group is it then taxable and is this legally permissible to use donations that people believe goes to the catholic church ? At the bottom of the page it is written ” proud catholics doing God’s work ” it makes no mention of the enabling and cover up, i wonder what God they are referring to ?

  7. When I read this ad, I wondered who made up this group of men and women sponsors. Pretty costly ad.
    Then I wondered why such proud catholics aren’t at all concerned about their catholic brothers and sisters who have not only been abused, but have also been denied justice by this same church of which these sponsors are so proud.
    I did not see them take out an ad demanding their church stop lobbying to keep the present statute of limitation in place. I saw no ad demanding justice for victims or true repentence for the coverup of these crimes.
    .
    The Church’s failure to deal immediately and honestly with this abuse crisis has impacted all its members. Many parishes are left in suspended animation,many priests are demoralized, much money has gone to lawyers and lobbyists ( money that could have been used for charitable works and education) and worst of all the hierarchy has lost its moral authority.
    Perhaps this group of sponsors might use their church loyalty to encourage this diocese to
    do what’s needed to restore its integrity so carelessly lost.

  8. A few emails, couple of calls, a few stamps and the Holy Spirit we might be able to educate the people of PA of how important this issue is andf how much abuse is present.The Love of Christ compels us to protect our children. Also,vote tuesday so they know we are serious. Change hearts and that ad will be useless.

  9. The ad is most likely a product of whatever PR firm the AOP has engaged. Don’t be shy, call the AOP, ask to speak to the Archbishop’s secretary or one of the auxiliary bishops. Tie up the phone lines asking questions, use any AOP e-mail address and fax numbers to do the same. Start putting some pressure on.

    And on a related topic, the Penn State cover-up and arrested/alleged sexual predator Sandusky. If the Grand Jury charges on Sandusky and those charged with covering it up are found credible, does anyone really think that, given Sandusky’s age, this has not probably gone on for many years? It’s illogical to think that it isn’t possible and probable.

    Start getting those letters and oped pieces in to the Inquirer. Also, has anyone noticed that no online comments have been permitted yet on the stories covering Sandusky and Penn State? Put your comments someplace else, in the comments section for letters regardless of what the day’s letters cover.

    Check out:
    http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20111107_Letters_to_the_Editor.html?c=0.8297669552751143&posted=y&viewAll=y#comments

    • Sr Maureen
      Over the weekend the Penn Sate University President stated he was unconditionally supportive of the two Penn State officials charged in the cover up. Fast forward 24 hours and the Board of Trustees has an emergency meeting and the two long time employees resign overnight. That is how things work in the secualr world. Penn State knows better than to keep them on staff,supporting them. There will be no standing ovation for these two men like the one Monsignor Lynn received.

  10. Did anyone happen to see this in the same Sunday Inquirer Yesterday. I am reposting here:

    Ironically, the “currents” section of the same paper on page D2 has a heading entitled “Verbatim” quoting the invocation of Chaput to the Philadelphia City Council on October 20. Part of what he said was: “Leadership requires two virtues that seem very simple until they become very inconvenient: honesty and courage”.

    How long do we have to endure the “Do as I say, not as I do” mentality?

    I think that the Penn State scandal will shine a light on what is currently going on in the RCC because everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, can relate to it. It closely parallels the the attempt to cover up the abuse in house to avoid bad press and ultimately impact endowments to the university. Even the pew catholics with their heads in the sand will have to sit up and take notice to this one.

    Personally, I think that the two officials who resigned were “encouraged” to do so to protect and take the focus off of Joe Paterno. I think “His Eminence”, Jo Pa, has some ‘splainin to do!

  11. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply November 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    To the editor, Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News:

    The revelations of child sexual abuse come from all areas of our society, public and private organizations, educational entities and religious institutions. HB 832 and 878 proposed by Reps. Bishop and McGeehan, Philadelphia have languished in the Judiciary Committee of the PA House for over 6 months. Chairman Rep. Ron Marsico so far has declined to schedule hearings for these very important proposals. In the minimum, these legitimate proposals deserve to have a public hearing and forum so that PA citizenry can review and comment on the principles of these proposals.

    The devastation that is perpetrated on our youngest citizens and victims as well as their families is beyond measure and these proposals provide meaningful steps to address the dangers of these criminal acts as well as provide further protection for our children and young adults.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Skiendzielewski
    Philadelphia, PA 19111

  12. Michael Skiendzielewski Reply November 7, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Donna Marie, your comments re the Chaput quote ring so true:

    “Leadership requires two virtues that seem very simple until they become very inconvenient: honesty and courage”.

    This crew down there at 222 N. 17th St. wouldn’t recognize “leadership” if it were an 18-wheeler and it ran them over. Honesty and courage hasn’t been seen in our Church leadership (????) for many a year.

    But wait, we have the annual Catholic Leadership Institute Award Dinner coming up this weekend out there in Delaware County. And the tickets are only $150 a plate, what a bargain. Interestingly, the date, if you want to mark your calendar, is 11-11-11. One of the awardees is the Cardinal O’Malley from Boston. I’d just love to get his autograph if I could.

  13. Who is the bishop living in Rittenhouse Square? Where do you get you info? This website and organization “Catholics4Change” seems to be getting swept up in the sensationalism of all this and not maintaining or advancing appropriate, civilized and logical conversation.

    • Could you please explain how that is illogical, uncivilized or inappropriate? Nothing about this requires sensationalism. The statement was posed as a question because I have not personally verified it. However it came from a reliable “inside” source. I’ll happily get more specific in a future post. But let’s get back to the main point – How do Catholics who contribute know where their money is being spent? Why doesn’t the Archdiocese issue a comprehensive annual financial report as is done by other organizations? Let’s not evade the real question.

      • Susan,

        Forgive me. I mean no harm to some valid discussions which you are encouraging on your website. You have some good here mixed in with some bad. If you want your website to have credibility (and I believe that it has that potential) you cannot mix credible opinions and facts with sensational opinions and facts. You raised a very good point about financial accountability and that point is well taken. However, when you mix it with unfounded claims, your message gets lost and doesn’t contribute to a fixing of the problem. I know that you love the Church and that you love the victims and I hope you also love the Bishops and Priests. Remember to LOVE your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. But don’t throw random statements out there with no grounding in reality. You posted this comment: “Does it also go to house some of our Bishops in their own large expensive homes (one in particular on Rittenhouse Square) while half empty rectories abound?” It’s a claim that only makes matters worse, and it’s unfounded. Anyone can make any claims they want and the internet is full of them. People will read the headline or listen to a soundbite and without digging deeper just assume its true. I’m not just speaking about this one comment you made about the bishop who supposedly lives in Rittenhouse square. What’s the point of making such a sensational and unfounded claim except to destroy the very Church you claim to love. It’s very important to have some good old fashioned common sense. The Church has a word for it: prudence. Personally I’d would like to see more in this discussion, otherwise we’re just resorting to flinging mudpies at each other and not helping matters.

        Sincerely,
        Von

      • Von, points well taken. There are enough facts to keep us busy without speculation.

  14. And if you claim to have facts, please cite your sources and make sure these facts are relevant for the discussion and perhaps even contribute something worthwhile to the desired progress. People are starting to see through some of the “speculation” which is being presented as truth.

    • As I indicated in my first reply, it was posed as a question not as a fact. As also indicated in that reply, I will go over that ground in a future post.

      Do you have any other examples of unverified statements in a post?

      People are starting to see through what Church leadership presents as truth.

      Every effort is made to present the truth in blog posts. We can’t verify statements made in comments.

  15. Von, I think Susan addressed your point. It is so ironic because as Pa. is imploding with the crime and cover up of children being raped both at Penn State and within the Church,you focus on this?? Sorry just not getting it. We have two grand jury reports,26 priests suspended, and the upcoming trials. I think “truth’ and ‘facts” are something that we have been waiting for from the Archdiocese for a very long time.

  16. Susan, you inserted a statement/comment into your question. You wrote: “Does it also go to house some of our Bishops in their own large expensive homes (one in particular on Rittenhouse Square) while half empty rectories abound?” That is a question, but inserted into the center of it is an unfounded sensational statement. This is only one example and I don’t want to belabor the point (although I think I already have). I understand that you cannot regulate what people write in comments, but this was not in the comments sections. This was supposed to be a serious posted, which YOU wrote. I’m just stating the facts based in the established grammatical rules of the English language. You also make a claim here that “our Bishops…own large expensive homes.” This is not the case. Most bishops live in old convents, in old parish rectories, in seminaries, in homes for children, etc, etc. At least that’s the reality in our Archdiocese. You mix the good with the bad and in the end it only serves the cause of the enemy to destroy the Church by discrediting the whole lot of bishops.

    Kathy, I agree, we are all waiting. However, I think it’s very important to focus on the details things. Our faith teaches us that those who are faithful in little things are certainly faithful in bigger things. That’s my point. We can’t have a good and helpful discussion unless we are goodhearted and trying to arrive at what is true. Back handed comments and unfounded, sensational statements don’t help the situation or further practical discussion. They don’t make victims feel better. They don’t foster a sense of humane and civil discussion. Nor do they help the Church to solve this problem. And they are certainly not a sign of Christian charity.

  17. Von, we have a Cardinal’s residence that is basically a mansion on City Line Ave. I just spoke to a gentleman who worked for a limousine company and used to drive people from St Charles Seminary to the Phila. airport in a stretch limo. One of his passengers was then “Cardinal Ratzinger” A few years back there was backlash when Bevilaqua was going to have high contributing donors build him a retirement home that was supposed to be so over the top that the priests themselves stepped in and demanded a stop to it. Yes Phila is certainly interesting when it comes to finances.

  18. Kathy,

    Do you know how the Archdiocese acquired the Archbishop’s residence? It doesn’t belong to the Archbishop, but to the Archdiocese. He doesn’t own that building anymore than he does any other building in the Archdiocese.

    Regarding this “gentleman” you “just spoke to”. Who is he and where did he get such information? Also, any person with common sense knows that limousine companies also rent cars for people. It’s not uncommon for ordinary people to rent cars for airport travel. half the time it cost as much as a taxi. Plus I don’t think the then Cardinal Ratzinger had anything to do with the choice of car? Did the Archdiocese pay for the car? That’s another question. Perhaps someone who loves the Church or know’s the Cardinal wanted to help him. You don’t know all the facts. Neither do I, which is why I don’t make sensational or unfounded claims, and why I don’t judge people, which as we know is certainly contrary to what our faith teaches.

    Lastly, regarding the house that was to be built for Bevilacqua. I think to do so would be silly considering the number of buildings that already exist and are empty. But that being said, if I remember correctly, NO Church funds were going to be used for that, but only gifts from people who wanted to do something special for him. But again I don’t have all the facts, so I’m not going to judge.

    In one sense I do applaud you though, because I do believe that Priests and Bishops and really all Christians should be less worldly and less attached to worldly things. Our culture is obsessed with meaningless stuff. We need to be more simple. But this thought does not give us a license to criticize or judge when we don’t know all the facts or the reality of the situation.

    Since you “picked on” the dear Holy Father (perhaps you should get to know him a little better). Here’s an article that might give you a better perspective.

    Headline: “Less worldly Church is better witness,” says Pope Benedict.

    Here’s the link: http://www.ucanews.com/2011/10/03/less-worldly-church-is-better-witness-pope/

    Here’s a sound bite (everyone likes those): “Change is needed constantly, but change must begin with the individuals who make up the church, he said. And changes must be dictated by the Gospel, not the world. In fact, to carry out her mission, the church “will constantly set herself apart from her surroundings; she needs in a certain sense to become unworldly or ‘desecularized,’” he said.

    Von

    • Voncheck
      We might not have all the facts ….. that is exactly what the laity and victims and some priests for that matter have been asking for along. Things took a turn on this site when both past and present archbishops choose to ignor and deny the reality of the situtaion they are in and not speak to the victims and laity , C4C.and other groups. Yes as Catholic we can judge “by their fruits” and the Archdiocese fruits are rotten. Victims killing themselves, schools closings, people leaving the church all these things took place before this blog even started.

  19. Von
    I don’t think that then Cardinal Ratzinger picked a ‘stretch limo” himself. Mansions,limousines…I don’t care who is paying for it…nothing about it is right. just my opinion.

  20. stretch limo? what are you talking about? Where did you get such info? Do you have proof of this from his visit 20 years ago? Again… sensational and unfounded claims get us nowhere. And it is a big deal if someone else organizes and pays for these things. Yes! Let’s say a priest’s family takes him on vacation. Is that a misuse of church funds? Is that a bad thing? Let’s say the Pope visit’s the US and the President goes to greet him as he gets off the airplane and takes him to the place he’s staying in a limousine. Does he have any control over that? Does it mean he’s misusing Church funds? Does it mean he’s being worldly? No! This is exactly what happened when he visited! Your claims don’t make any sense. I don’t understand what you’re trying to say. I’m not justifying mansions or stretch limousines or whatever other sensational things you’ve heard of. You’re missing my point and I’m missing yours.

  21. Von I have been going back and forth all morning between receiving emails from victims and child advocates and debating with you about material things. Obviously I am going to refocus and spend my time working with people who were abused and advocates who are trying to protect children. Feel free to continue to post your thoughts,I am moving on to the crisis at hand. At this point I don’t care if the hierarchy is dripping in diamonds and gold as long as these horrific crimes of child rape are finally and truthfully addressed and stopped.

  22. good, stop judging. I’m happy you’re actually moving on to something more important.

  23. Susan, I was just reading your comment here and the many comments that followed. Wow! But as it turns out Susan your posting is not entirely true. The Archdiocese DID NOT organize or sponsor the advertisement in the Inquirer. It was produced and submitted to the paper by an anonymous group of laymen and women. I hope and pray that you will start to get the facts straight before you lead people astray on these diverse and complicated issues. Good Luck!

    Joe Simons

    • I will verify that with both the Archdiocesan Office for Communications and the Inquirer ad dept. Did the group identify themselves as anonymous sponsors of the ad in the ad. If not, is it unreasonable that people, including myselft, think an advertisment about the archdiocese would be by the archdiocese? Anyway, the point of the blog is still completely valid. Where is the annual financial report for contributers? Do you know?

      • Susan, you are right. What is the real difference if Chaput or his designated Catholic 1% paid for the ad. No one is fooled. It certainly doesn’t reflect the view of a majority of Philly Catholic regardless of what Chaput’s apologists try to claim with their diversionary arguments.

      • Susan,

        I was one of the lay people who helped pay for the ad. There was a group if us just tired of all the negative publicity. Chaput accepted it, but it was drawn up by a group of simple lay faithful who love the church and want to stop all the negative press. Your blog is certainly contributing to the negativity. It doesn’t have to and it didn’t start out that way. It seems that it has just been caught up in media frenzy.

        The Church includes lay faithful and hierarchy, not one or the other. The Archdiocese is not just bishops and priests, it all of us. So be careful about what you’re doing on this blog. It may be helping, but there are many who think your efforts are only contributing to the destruction of the Church and perhaps even a loss of faith among people. Consider carefully what you’re doing here and what you mission is.

        Joe S.

      • Victims4Justice.org Reply November 15, 2011 at 4:41 pm

        The most complicit destroyers of the Catholic Church have been the Church itself; the priests, Bishops, the Pope, and the parishioners who ignored children being sexually abused and raped by its employees and did nothing. If you want to blame anyone for negative press, Joe, why not take your comments to the priests who rape children and to the hierarchy that covers it up?!

        As long as this is occurring, blame me! Blame me, because I will be forever giving it my all to destroy the evil that exists within the Catholic Church, Penn State University, and any organization that ignores the sexual abuse of children. Blame me, because I am leading the charge to destroy your evil organization. Maybe, if I have it on my mind when I’m finished, I might just leave a moral church behind.

        You have outrage for negative press, which is really relevant considering the vast number of children sexually abused and raped by priests, nuns, and laypersons, but you have no outrage for the abuses itself. I was abused by a Catholic priest as a young boy. I have a vested interest to do everything in my power to make certain that no child ever has to live through my own experiences. I have a vested interest to protect children. You Joe, you just have $$$ interest. Have another glass of Kool-Aid on me. 😉

      • Joe S. the church is in no fear of being destroyed if it loves like Christ.

  24. Joe We are not in any way contributing to the destruction of the church ,nor is that our goal. We are standing and bearing witness to the suffering that has taken place in our Church. This post below pretty much sums up what we are trying to do. Give a voice to the voiceless,acknowledge what has happened,embrace the victims and protect children. If that is destroying the Church well then I guess I don’t understand after 16 years of Catholic education,what the Church is meant to be
    https://catholics4change.com/2011/10/25/what-if-this-was-your-son-a-heart-changing-story/e

    • Hi Kathy,

      I understand that you have an important job to do here. And I think your work for victims is great. It just seems that this is mixed with so many other attacks on the Church and agendas. Your message is getting confused and lost in the mix. Listen, I’m an old man, a war veteran, and a former teacher. I’m not trying to criticize, we just have to approach this in a manner that is more genuine and focused. Helping the victims is good and we should always oppose evil, but your going against the Church is very confusing for people. At least try to make your message more a work of love. Hope this helps. Sorry if I upset you.

      God bless you,
      Joe Simons

      • Joe, Your comments add balance to the conversation. We’ve had many comments from those who have lost faith in the institutional Church and have left. I think it’s very very important to include the comments of those still actively participating. I know firsthand the good the Church does but it does not negate the horror of this issue. It’s an issue that plagues every institution. I believe the Church should be on the front lines of addressing it. I will not stop until our true Church is reflected in the response. I spent years at the Catholic Standard and Times sharing the good news. I know who I am and my mission. What is yours? Do you believe the leadership has been fully accountable and responsible? Here in Philadelphia? Around the world? The destruction of the Church will come from those who do nothing.

      • Joe, in an effort to protect innocent children, and oppose evil it is sadly sometimes necessary to be critical of the Church.

        As you know Philadelphia is at the heart of the most egregious molestation situation in the nation right now, and the lives of innocent children are at resk.

        Perhaps you have had the opportunity to read the Grand Jury 2011 report at the top of the page in the RESOURCE link.

        In it you will find the results of an extensive examination by the Grand Jury, of the Archdiocese, including multiple abuse issues,
        Inadequate diocesan Review Board behavior, a pattern for years pf passing predators on to unsuspecting parishes. It goes on and on.

        I strongly suggest you read it!

      • Joe:
        one simple question Have you read the 2 Grand Jury Reports?

        Most people I talk to who think like you (i.e. it is Catholic bashing) when I ask that question reply no. The reason is any good person, whether Christian or not, could not stand by an organization that has done what is written in those reports, even if only 10% of what is written is accurate.

        Remmenber after the 2005 grand jury report, the first thing rigali and brian terrieny diid was claim anti-Catholic bias

      • Joe, I would welcome a conversation with you AFTER you have read the 2011 Grand Jury report found in the RESOURCE link, at the top of this page!

      • Joe, I thought a bit more about your advice to Susan and the issue of reading the 2011Grand Jury report, found at the top of this page in the RESOURCE link, where you hit the Grand Jury 2011 item and when you bring up the report, you hit the Final Grand Jury Report.

        It’s long and it’s not a pleasant ‘read’, but you as a teacher would normally present a full story to your students, and I am asking you and all the folks who took out that ad to read the report.

        The Grand Jury members were simply selected out of a pool of fellow Philadelphians, like yourself.

        They themselves say at the end of a series of recommendations they made, the following:

        A final word. In light of the Archdiocese’s reaction to the last grand jury report, we expect that some may accuse us of anti-Catholic bias for speaking of these painful matters. We are not church-haters. Many of us are church-goers. We did not come looking for “scandal,” but we cannot close our eyes to the powerful evidence we heard. We call the church to task, to fix what needs fixing.”

        I would be delighted to discuss this matter with you AFTER you have read the report.

      • Joe I get what you are saying but no one in the archdioscese says anything genuine followed by actions . The only thing I have heard is the heartbreaking stories of victims. Where is the compassion????? I see none. All the safety classes they make laity take are worthless if priests get a free pass to molest kids.That is what it has been. I don’t need facts and figures. I need to know that the Archdiocese will protect children not predators. My brother was an altar boy and Fr. Cannon a molester on the archdioscese list asked him to go see his trains in the rectory……he never did……I wonder about the kids that did. That is my “work of love” making sure kids are safe.

      • Joe, I just read the Voice of the Faithful recommendations that came out this year, relative to the John Jay reviews, and those recommendations fit awfully well in this discussion so I am posting them as follows:

        VOTF trustees concluded their John Jay Report review by offering recommendations they said the Catholic Church should adopt to respond to clergy sexual abuse in a believable way for victims and their families, innocent clergy and lay Catholics whose trust in the hierarchy has been deeply damaged.
        The recommendations include:

        fully independent and comprehensive audits in accordance
        with generally accepted auditing standards;

        fully independent diocesan review boards and victim
        assistance offices;

        specific disciplinary action for bishops who oppose or
        violate the provisions of their Charter to Protect Children
        and Young People;

        official support for reform of statutes of limitation for sexual abuse;

        listening sessions nationwide to hear lay people’s, as opposed to clergy, reactions to the sexual abuse scandal and expectations for its full resolution; and

        access by independent investigators to clergy personnel records throughout the U.S., similar to German bishops’ voluntary action in July 2011.

  25. Perhaps it’s true that many who hold the view such as Joe’s haven’t read the Grand Jury Report. I know of several Catholics who have read it and still have a similar view as Joe’s.

    I think Joe may represent many in the pews. I accept that as a reality, and why change for some is just so uncomfortable. Somewhere along the line doing the right thing became synonymous with attacking the church. Truly a mind-set that’s taught.

    • I know what you mean. They don’t understand that some of us really believe in everything the church teaches and that is why we will not be silent as they are living like pagans and not Christians. The church is being attacked from within and without but much of this they bring on themselves for not living the Gospel according to Christ.

  26. A tribute to Our Philadelphia Priests and Seminarians

    10

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